If you have an aging parent, grandparent, or other loved one who is no longer in the position to be capable of living alone, you most likely will have some difficult conversations ahead. It is no easy task to be the person who has to break the news to someone that they can no longer safely live on their own. However, despite how tough and at times emotional the conversation can be, when the health and livelihood of your loved one is at stake, you know that there are no other options than to bring it up.
Even in cases where a senior is accepting of the fact that they should move to an assisted living facility, the journey is still going to be an emotional one. The best thing that you can do is offer as much support as possible and be there for them every step of the way. There are also certain approaches that you can take to the conversation that can go a long way to helping your loved one come to a better place of acceptance when they decide to move to an assisted living facility.
If you are currently in a situation where you need to have a conversation with a loved one about moving to an assisted living facility, here are a few tips that can help you to make the conversation easier and the decision more bearable for them.
Keep Health and Safety at the Forefront
When an aging loved one is told that they can no longer live alone, a typical reaction is for them to go on the defensive. They might feel that this move is one that is motivated by a lack of interest in their life and the desire to take the load off of yourself when it comes to helping out. It is essential to emphasize that this is not the case. Rather, instead of wishing to spend less time with them, this decision is so that you can spend more quality time with them for longer. Essentially, the main reasons for such a move are rooted in the health, safety, and overall wellbeing of your loved one.
Assisted living facilities have full-time, 24-hour medical staff on-site to assist your loved one with any medical needs they might have. Explain to them that this is the sort of care that you and other family members or friends are simply incapable of administering. Moreover, if they have a particular health condition, there are facilities designed to help.
For instance, if your loved one is suffering from a memory loss condition, such as Alzheimer’s, they can move to a facility that is set up to treat and assist people with similar conditions. Explain to them that by moving to a facility that offers Alzheimer care Houston TX, they will be able to receive the care that they need to live a happier, healthier life.
When you can keep the practicalities of medical health and overall safety at the forefront of the conversation, you can help your loved one better understand just why this change must take place. Facilities that provide medical needs of the elderly are going to offer much better living options for your loved one than if they were to continue to live alone.
Be Present Every Step of the Way
Another one of the key reasons that the thought of moving to an assisted living facility is such a difficult one for some seniors to accept has to do with the fact that such a move is just simply a major life change. Many seniors reach a stage in their life where they are comfortable and don’t want to go through the process of adjusting to any additional big life changes. However, if the situation truly warrants this move, then you can help your loved one feel more comfortable by simply being present.
By being with them through every step of the way, you can help your loved one feel more relaxed about the decision in general. This is especially true when you agree to take on the bulk of the planning, such as finding the right facility and packing their belongings. There is going to be a significant amount of emotion involved in this process no matter what, but if you are supportive and reassuring throughout, then you can truly help set your loved one’s mind at ease about this change.
Listen to Them
The realization that one is giving up a great degree of independence when moving to an assisted living facility is another tough moment for many seniors. It can be easy for you to take the reins, thinking that such an approach is easiest, and handling every decision on your own. However, if you are looking to make this transition easier for your loved one, you should look to take in their opinions and allow them to provide input.
Keep your loved one an active part of the greater conversation. Ask your loved one questions about the type of facility they would like to move to. What sort of location do they see themselves living in? What types of activities would they like available throughout the week? Are they hoping to be more social and get out and about regularly? Asking such questions and searching for a facility that meets your loved one’s criteria can make them feel more involved and less like they are being told what to do and when.
Once you have options available for assisted living facilities, take your loved one to tour them if possible. If this isn’t a possibility, see if there are any virtual tour options with lots of photos of the place. Make sure that your loved one is happy with the look and feel of the place that is to be their new home. If something isn’t quite right, try to get to figure out why. Perhaps some accommodations or alterations can be made to make a certain facility more attractive to your loved one.